Softball great Thomas Makea to manage New Zealand Men’s National Softball Team
07/06/2023 1 Minute Read

Softball great Thomas Makea to manage New Zealand Men’s National Softball Team

“It’s time to roll up our sleeves, embrace the challenges ahead and show our softball whanau that the Black Sox are committed to becoming the best that we can be,” Makea said.

Softball New Zealand announced that Black Sox legend Thomas Makea will be the national men’s team’s eighth head coach. Makea has secured the job through to the WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup 2025 in Canada.

“Being appointed Black Sox Head Coach is a massive honour for me and my whanau,” Makea said. “It reflects my hard work, dedication and love for our sport. I am very grateful for the opportunity to lead our program forward. I have learnt and been mentored by some of our most successful Black Sox coaches so will take that into this role.”

A distinguished member of both the WBSC and Softball NZ Hall of Fame, Makea’s challenge is to guide the New Zealand men's programme back to the podium after they finished eighth in last year's edition on home soil in Auckland. 

“It’s time to roll up our sleeves, embrace the challenges ahead and show our softball whanau that the Black Sox are committed to becoming the best that we can be,” Makea said. “This will take a collective effort from everyone involved.

“The opportunity to rebuild our foundation and strengthen our future generations to dream big and achieve greatness is a driving force for me.”

That begins, internationally, at the XVIII Men's Softball World Cup Group Stage in 2024.

Regarded as one of the Black Sox’s all-time best players, Makea won four world championships as a player and is the second most capped Black Sox with 143 international appearances over a nearly two-decade-long international career. 

He also has a strong record as a coach having taken the Juniors to a silver medal in Canada in 2014 after a 17-year absence from the podium. They finished third in 2016, third again in Canada in 2018, then at the 2020 world championships in Palmerston North. 

Makea, Ngāti Kahungunu, will be the first Māori Head Coach of the New Zealand national side.